Phase Contrast Microscopy

Our practice uses phase contrast microscopy to determine the risk of periodontal disease. It allows us to look at live specimens without altering their natural characteristics. As calculus builds up on your teeth, your immune system begins to fight the battle of bacterial exposure. Bacteria gather in the pockets surrounding the tooth, causing the gum tissue to loosen and then inflammation to occur. Bleeding on probing and the loosening of the pockets indicates to the dental hygienist that inflammation is present. The loosening of the pockets is caused by the bacterial infection, which will lead to periodontal disease if not caught early and corrected.

Our dental hygienists here will help patients to prevent further breakdown and in some cases, reverse the process. Using a phase contrast microscope for periodontal detection is far more advanced than just the traditional probing, and can help the hygienists and dentists to diagnose a patient’s specific condition and develop an effective treatment plan. Using this inexpensive microbiological test allows the dental team to determine whether periodontal disease is present before attachment may be lost for good.